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version

Well-known member
I only recently learned that a billion is now considered a thousand million, I'd always been under the impression it was a million million.

1,000,000,000, i.e. one thousand million, or 109 (ten to the ninth power), as defined on the short scale. This is now the meaning in both British and American English.

1,000,000,000,000, i.e. one million million, or 1012 (ten to the twelfth power), as defined on the long scale. This is one thousand times larger than the short scale billion, and equivalent to the short scale trillion. This is the historic definition of a billion in British English.


American English adopted the short scale definition from the French. The United Kingdom used the long scale billion until 1974, when the government officially switched to the short scale, but since the 1950s the short scale had already been increasingly used in technical writing and journalism; the long scale definition still enjoys some limited usage in the UK.
 

luka

Well-known member
I remember reading Hobsbawn the Marxist historian warning about the dangers of private individuals commanding wealth greater than that of many nation states and thinking oh that's interesting.

The Koch Brothers, or brother now, and Soros have become mirror images for one another, bogeymen for left and right.

Proxy wars of billionaires played out across the great chessboard of nations.

Peter Thiel and his fever dreams of micro nations and autonomous ocean communities. Fever dreams of Elon Musk and and Jeff Bezos, asteroid mining, space operas, lovemaking with sleek silver skinned terrestrials, off-planet colonies to escape apocolypse.

Billionaires buying up the whole of New Zealand's South Island to build vast bunker complexes beneath the mountains.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I only recently learned that a billion is now considered a thousand million, I'd always been under the impression it was a million million.
When I was little that was what people used to say but now we've caved to the US and it's a mere thousand million. In fairness there seems to be no logic to the naming system, if a hundred is ten to the second power and a thousand is the third, then why is the next power with a name the sixth? And then the ninth?
But a billionaire has a thousand million pounds which is an obscene amount. And Bezos has a hundred billion which means he's a tenth of the way to an old English billion.
 

version

Well-known member
That thing everyone says about Bill Gates earning enough and at such a rate at one point that he could jump off the top of his money stacked up and never hit the floor. I'm pretty sure it's complete bollocks, but it seems to have stuck.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Like he would be in space you mean or what? It's infinitely tall? I mean maybe it would reach space, especially if you had it in pennies or changed it into some stupid currency with thousands to the cent.
 

version

Well-known member
I don't think it's possible to be a 'good' person and a billionaire. You can't acquire that sort of money without leaving a trail of destruction.
 

luka

Well-known member
With Americans (and, noticeably, among a new generation of Indians) the tech billionaire is culture hero. We talked about this a bit with Jobs in the disruption thread. The world-shapers, the dreamers of dreams. The world-spirit made flesh.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
"This is going to depend on what you consider to be “All of Bill Gates’ money”. I just Googled “Bill Gates Net Worth” and it came up as being over 100 Billion so I’m going to go with 100 Billing because it makes the math easier.

So there would be 2 Billion $50 bill needed to make 100 Billion dollars in currency. US currency is .0043 inches thick. Doing the math, the comes to 8,600,000 inches. There are 63, 360 inches in a mile. so doing the math again that comes to approximately 135.7 miles.

This puts him well above the earth’s atmosphere, to my first answer to your question is that he would never hit the ground because his body would burn up when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, much like a shooting star burns up, which is an asteroid burning up as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. If you’ve ever watches a shuttle landing you will hear them talk about the heat shield, this is the protective covering on the bottom of the space shuttle that protects it from burning up.

OK, so let’s assume Mr Gates is Super Human and like Superman his body won’t burn up. In this case and without getting too overly technical with my answer. a person on average will fall at a rate of 120mph. yes there are other factors I could take into consideration like the orbital rotation and whether the person is in a tucked position or if they are flapping their arms to slow their decent, but I’m not going to go there. So if we take 120mph and do the math…

It would take Bill Gates approximately 1.2 hours to hit the ground if he stepped off his stack of $50 bills."
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I'm inclined to agree. I read something a little while back about how in terms of wealthy they were compared to the wealth of the country or other people or whatever, Rockefeller and Carnegie, maybe Hughes or whatever were actually richer than anyone around now.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I do like that Bill Gates thing just cos it gives you some idea of how much money he actually has. 135 MILES of 50 DOLLAR BILLS!
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Money on that scale is like the number of stars in the milky way or something. Totally ungraspable.

I know it's just an illusion but the number of billionaires makes it seem like it must be relatively easy to be a millionaire. But at the same time being a millionaire seems more or less impossible as far as I'm concerned.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I bought a Don Delillo book the other day cos it was 3 quid and had a nice cover - "Zero k" which perhaps would be of interest to luka if he didn't despise don Delillo..cos it's about billionaires building underground bunkers and trying to cheat death.
 

sufi

lala
Money on that scale is like the number of stars in the milky way or something. Totally ungraspable.
i don't think it's a proper number at all, unfixable - the regular fluctuations in the actual amount of dollars in their fortunes due to constantly wobbling share prices, currency & commodity values, properties etc would be bigger than our entire lifetime earnings :mad:
 
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